A massive 6 months!

SAMSUNG CSC

Starting around Sept 2013 I finished a 6 month rotation to Darwin, where I found a new found love of jogging and exercise.  I was lucky enough to meet great friends and go  to places I never would have the option of going to if it was not for work .

 

Read more about my time in Darwin here

Almost as soon as I arrived back in Canberra we were off again. Thanks to my  amazing partner lead me on a tour of his incredible country – Myanmar. We spent an unforgettable 3 weeks traveling the lengths and breadth of this nation. Even after all the sights and experiences his FAMILY was the true highlight for me. His mother’s warmth and care, his father’s intelligence and willingness to share and ask questions about my life too. 

A more in-depth write up of our time in Myanmar is here
 
Then the “ experience “ of meeting my parents in Kuala Lumpur and catching up with my good friend Ron who then joined the four of us traveling to Redang Island (Palau Redang) off the north east coast of Malaysia. It was the second time Frankie and I had been to the Lagoon Redang resort. After the ferry ride from Kuala Terraganu on the mainland over to the resort (where my father’s sea sickness came to a head) and check in, the island is really just a water sports playground. 
All expenses paid apart from alcohol and diving services. After snorkelling every day and also trying SCUBA I was HOOKED. The resort is a PADI accredited resort which means they have instructors and Dive Masters who can facilitate everything from the minimal training ‘Discover SCUBA’ right through to your ‘Dive Master’ qualification. Frankie, Ron and I decided finally we would try the ‘Discover SCUBA’ – which is essentially being kitted up and thrust under water. 
 
Frankie and Ron could not get get more than 10cm under the surface before pulling the pin. I managed to get all the way through the experience – roughly 15mins getting to a depth of 5.5m. I was so excited to be doing it I forgot to actually take my GoPro3 from the dive bag on the beach before getting in the water. 
 
Back in KL the ‘experience’ of travelling with my parents again reached crescendo with the all important family yelling match in an international airport. Don’t be shocked. Its rather common for my family. We get over it faster than our words echoing around departures. 
 
  
 
A more in-depth write up of our time in Malaysia is here
On return back to Canberra I started in a new role with a new team in the a new office. 
 
 Not long after our return from our big overseas adventure we decided to start thinking about buying a house. When I say thinking, we looked at one and brought it. A 2br, split level east facing townhouse. Requiring 5% down in Nov 13, and the rest in around Nov 2014. Perfectly suited for what we needed. Also keeps my NBN dry. 
 
 
 So because I am swimming in cash *COUGH COUGH* I then booked my PADI Open Water Dive Course. 
 
 I nearly didn’t get to do the course! 
 
The doctor was worried my lungs were almost not up to the minimum capacity. But don’t worry, I managed to get over the line. 
 
 The first weekend was half theory and half practising in the pool! I don’t know about you but I am never lucky when it comes to being partnered up in anything sporty, usually picked last. Well there was this one mega cutie on our group – and for once guess who I was partnered with!! JACKPOT! He was a great guy, sweet and innocent of the ways of the world. It wasn’t until the pool technique practising that my inner filter turned off. I couldn’t stop giggling when our instructor was inadvertently saying things with MASSIVE innuendo such as “ right team lets get under water, get on our knees and have some fun’ I looked at our assistant instructor with my ‘trying not to laugh’ face – which is hard in full mask and regulator in your mouth’ Sadly his mouth was level with the water and it caused him to inhale and cough with the biggest smile. The laughs only continued.. 
For those that are not divers, there is a requirement to learn how to tow your buddy should they become fatigued or injured, this cryptically is called the ’Tired Diver Tow’ which involves you laying on your back and your buddy laying between your legs face up, you hold their tank and kick – pushing you both forward. I simply said ‘ I don’t open my legs for every one this easy, buy a boy a drink first sailor’ He too could not control his giggles The second weekend was the in water component, unlike the current Australian government immigration policy, as it was under water rather than on water I can talk about it. The first day was 3 dives at 6m practicing skills we learnt in the pool. The second day was at a site called Toll Gates – read about that bit here
 
 
 

All was going well, a little too well.

 

I was getting ready to finally sell my maxi road scooter – 500cc – on consignment with a local dealer.
 
 
 
 
The fates intervened again. I was crossing an intersection with a green light, I stopped as a cyclist crossed my path and was collected right in-between my passenger front and rear doors. Causing $6000 worth of damage. I am insured however the insurance company is still ‘determining fault’ hmmmm. 
 
 
To top of a roller coaster of emotions. I was voted by an overwhelming majority to lead my employers Gay & Lesbian Network. A total of 1/2 of the overall votes came to me. A lot of pressure is now on me – some will say ‘its just a volunteer thing, no extra pay, why bother’ – It is important to make changes, drive the changes. You can’t do that from the outside.

 

If this was the last 6 months, I wonder what the next will bring.

Hopefully you will also see some changes on the site coming soon. I hope you will enjoy.  As always, please like, comment or subscribe.

 
 

Ride The Duck Darwin Harbour Sunset Cruise

For one of my finally nights out in Darwin before returning home, the girls from work and I embarked on a 'Ride The Duck Darwin Harbour Sunset Cruise'

Loading up in the amphibious Jemima Puddle duck before plunging into the water and having our vehicle turn into a boat ( yes thats the meaning of amphibious). We enjoyed a lovely sunset out on Darwin Harbour. What a lovely way to spend an evening. While cursing past Stokes Hill Whalf we discovered the Malaysian Navy was in, along with HMAS Parramatta

Soaking up the sun in #Darwin

Soaking up the sun at the Darwin 'beach'. Followed by an amazing Greek lunch. I am now addicted to Saganaki and dips.

Run run as fast as you can !!!

This week had been a big week for me in the fitness / jogging side. Every night this week I have been out walking and jogging in Darwin - how could you not. The whether has been sublime. I usually run at night. Later the better. Averaging 6-8kms. The nights here don't drop below 22 degrees C.

My fitbit flex has really changed the way I view activity. It's right there on my wrist. It's blinking lights shaming me into activity. The more lights the more active you have been. It has 5 lights that break your goal into 5ths. My daily goal is currently 10,000 steps ( roughly 5kms) so each light is 2000 steps. The nature of my current role at work means that I am largely sedentary (desk bound) during the day - I would be lucky to pass 2000 steps at work. But by bed time I am usually clocking up between 12000 & 16000. My walking partner who can walk to work recently scored 24kms in a single day with only a normal day activity with a night walk.

Weight wise I am still hovering between 76-78kgs. But body fat as a percentage is dropping from 26% to as low as 24% this morning.

How far do you usually run per day?

Darwin Festival

 

Another great night in Darwin.

The Darwin Festival is in full swing here.

Tonight I got to go along to my first show - Fear of  Brown Planet, a funny and surprisingly political show. If you have seen any of their youtube clips - belly laughs, along with the occasional laugh suppressed behind the hand ensued.

My next show I am off to is Trevor Ashley as Dame Shirley Bassey in Diamonds are for Trevor on the 24th Aug. Having seen Trevor in Hair Spray in Sydney  as Edna Turnblad- I know this will be a fabilous show.

I am also trying to get some tickets to the renowned cabaret show 'La Soirée' .

Pic below is of me with the boys from Fear of  Brown Planet

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Adelaide River Jumping Crocs – Darwin, NT

I am now back capturing some of my more memorable trips around the NT over the past few months. Adelaide River Jumping Crocs would have to be right up there. Located about an hour from the Darwin CBD right on the Arhem Highway where it meets the Adelaide River.

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I was lucky enough to venture out on the Adelaide River Queen ( I kid you not).Image

For 25 bucks for an hour of watching these prehistoric beasts jump their body length out of the water to snatch a pork shop – I could not rate it highly enough.

The eerie sight of the crocodiles (or crocs if you are a true Territorian) suddenly appearing out of nowhere from the just below the surface of the muddy brown river water still freaks me out.

Berry Springs - NT

   

 

 

 

Recently I wanted to try my new Go Pro 3 in the water just in time for a quick trip to some warm water springs near Darwin NT.

 

Below are some pictures from Berry Springs NT.